Ameristar Casinos Optimizes Workforce with UniFocus’ LMS

Dallas, March 2, 2011 - UniFocus today announced that its innovative workforce management system has helped optimize operations for Ameristar Casinos, Inc. (NASDAQ-GS: ASCA). A leading Las Vegas-based gaming and entertainment company, Ameristar has been using the advanced Watson, R.M.™ Labor Management System (LMS) technology since 2004, now deployed in eight casinos in seven markets.

“When business volumes go up or down, we need to know how to react swiftly,” said Phillip Upchurch, Director of Workforce Planning and Analysis for Ameristar Casinos. “Our LMS system from UniFocus helps us provide daily accountability for our workforce and challenges the operation by identifying opportunities to be more productive. And the fact that Watson, R.M. LMS is volume-driven helps to ensure that we are providing great guest service and that the daily operation of the casino is in line with budgeted expectations.

“Every department is compared to the forecast to find out whether they are short-staffed or over-staffed so that we can mitigate any issue,” continued Upchurch. “With our LMS we can ensure proper staffing levels through more accurate forecasting of business levels, then planning for those volumes and executing that plan on an hourly basis. Most importantly, the system allows us to be more flexible as our business grows, as well as retracts, to ensure we provide consistent great guest service and keep expenses to a minimum.

“Another benefit of the system is that our team members can have a more balanced work and home life,” added Upchurch. “This balance is possible because Watson, R.M. LMS enables us to better identify where there is an incremental need for labor in each department so that we’re getting good coverage.”

“Many gaming and entertainment organizations such as Ameristar Casinos have workforce management down to a fine art, seeing improved performance and significant cost savings by adjusting standards to reflect actual traffic patterns,” said Mark Heymann, President and CEO of UniFocus. “Our system balances cost control with the commitment to high levels of service—by ensuring the right staffing at the right time.

“Ameristar Casinos is a long-standing UniFocus partner and we are pleased that they have achieved optimal performance gains with Watson, R.M. LMS,” added Heymann.

Watson, R.M. LMS automates many of the daily processes that in many casinos, hotels and resorts are still being done manually—such as forecasting, budgeting and scheduling. UniFocus’ Watson, R.M. incorporates industry-specific statistical analysis to project short-term demand; and then optimizes workforce schedules by identifying critical relationships between key business volumes, such as number of guests to be served at any time and the necessary staff to optimize the level of service.

About Ameristar

Ameristar Casinos, Inc. is a leading Las Vegas-based gaming and entertainment company known for its premier properties characterized by state-of-the-art casino floors and superior dining, lodging and entertainment offerings. Ameristar’s focus on the highest quality gaming experience and exceptional guest service has earned it leading positions in the markets in which it operates. Founded in 1954 in Jackpot, Nev., Ameristar has been a public company since November 1993. The Company has a portfolio of eight casinos in seven markets: Ameristar Casino Resort Spa St. Charles (greater St. Louis); Ameristar Casino Hotel East Chicago (Chicagoland area); Ameristar Casino Hotel Kansas City; Ameristar Casino Hotel Council Bluffs (Omaha, Neb., and southwestern Iowa); Ameristar Casino Hotel Vicksburg (Jackson, Miss., and Monroe, La.); Ameristar Casino Resort Spa Black Hawk (Denver metropolitan area); and Cactus Petes Resort Casino and The Horseshu Hotel and Casino in Jackpot, Nev. (Idaho and the Pacific Northwest). Visit Ameristar Casinos’ website at